Take My Word (4 New Fashion Trends)

I may not be able to do accounting or perform surgery. And I’m not even going to pretend that I’d have the patience to teach. But what I can do is give you insights into fashion trends before any one else may be able to. Call it useless and for 95% of the time you’re likely right in this assumption but that other 5%, the 5% when you’re searching for what to wear or what to buy. Well that my friend is my prime time. The time in which I eerily get a sixth sense about what is going to be a hit this year. So it only feels right to impart my ‘fashion’ wisdom on at least those who turn to this fashion blog. Just call me the doctor of clothes, or don’t because that sounds really terrible! Moving on…


1. Yellow Blazer (Jacket)

Call me crazy but if you don’t have a yellow blazer it’s time to get one. I can feel it in my bones and my bones are telling me that yellow is bound to be hot this year. If you want to get slightly ahead of the curve go on and purchase yourself a yellow blazer so you can sport it before anyone else does… Well, almost anyone.

2. Matte Nails

I’m slightly obsessed with this trend. You can either ask for this look at your next manicure or buy a bottle yourself! Completely worth the $5.

3. Turban Time

So this trend is not for your every day girl, but I couldn’t resist adding it to the list. Wrap it up if you’re up for a little more than just your average trend.

4. High-Waisted Jeans

They’ve officially made their comeback and I have to say I’m in full support. If you’re feeling the hipster vibe, give them a shot. If you’ve held onto them since 1989 it might just might be time to reconsider. Stick to dark washes or black for a more flattering look. All that said, let’s look for high-waisted skinnies and keep the mom jeans from making their rounds.

Now you may impart your fashion wisdom onto someone else.

Seriously, What Is This CANOPI Thing? Bloggers We’ve Got You Covered, Pun Intended

Someone once told me that when “your ears are burning” it means someone is talking about you, and I believe mine are… as Alicia Keys would say… on fire. The word on the virtual street is that people are trying to figure out what this Canopi thing is all about, and as the co-founder I’m here to finally answer all of your questions!

There are millions of blogs, 75 million active ones to be exact. And honestly, who has time to dig through each blog to find the one that speaks to you? Our job is to take the work out of finding great blogs so you can get to discovering, reading and sharing the content you love.

So let me translate…

For Bloggers, Canopi is a cost-free way to gain exposure for your blog. Because we know how busy you are, you literally don’t have to do any extra work! Awesome, right? Our Leaderboard currently ranks posts in real-time by which ones are getting the most action, not just who has the most pageviews. We’re leveling the playing field allowing all bloggers on Canopi a new chance each day to be discovered on the top of the leaderboard.

How is this any different from anyone else?

We’re glad you asked!

If you’ve played around with the site you might have noticed a little number in the righthand corner of each post. That’s called a post score. Soon (we’re still in beta) post scores will be customized just for YOU! Each post that matches with who you are + what you love will rank higher on your Leaderboard oppose to a friends. Which means, as a blogger your posts will soon be exposed in front of multiple readers who love blogs similar to yours but may have otherwise never been able to find you! Cool, right?

Also, similar to how you can create playlists on iTunes or Spotify, you can now create “bloglists” on Canopi. Then you’re able to subscribe to other cool peoples lists (including your friends). When they find great new blogs, so will you!

With over 250 million monthly searches for terms such as “how do I find blogs?” Our mission is to give great bloggers, like yourself, a piece of the exposure you deserve while helping readers easily discover more blogs (not just the top ones) we know they’ll love.

Are we ever going to get to work with brands?

The short answer is absolutely! The long answer… we want to make sure we have the best system possible before throwing half-ass brand opportunities your way. Pardon my French. My pet peeve as a blogger is “off-topic” pitches & offers such as “high-resolution images” in exchange for a post written about their brand. We’ve all gotten them and it’s time that we create a better way for brands and bloggers to work together.

That being said, we’re inching closer and expect in the next few months or even less to start presenting our bloggers with brand opportunities based on how well you match. You’ll then start receiving e-mails from us when we think a brand partnership jives with your blog. If it’s something that you’re interested in, all you’ll have to do is “opt in”. If the brand selects you, we stay out-of-the-way and allow you all to work together in the name of brand/blogger matrimony. I mean we even gave it a nickname, Brogger, but it just doesn’t quite have the same ring as Kimye.

Do you own your content?

Hells YES! You own your content, and any site that tells you differently should send you running for the hills. Rest assured, we honor your writing and don’t make any changes to your content. No matter what, it always belongs to you. As your blog is exposed to more readers via the Canopi platform, your readership will grow – we’ll even provide you with a bi-monthly statistics report that details the number of people reading, following and sharing your blog. Use these statistics as a way to leverage your current brand relationships and let them know that your blog now has double the exposure!

What about duplicate blog content? Won’t that hurt me?

No worries, kid! We’ve already let Google know that you’re the original content creator which allows all the SEO to be re-directed back to your site. Rather than hurting your blog, think of us as a little SEO boost. You know the good tasting ones with extra vitamins.

Okay I’ll shut up…

Hopefully I’ve covered all the big talking points. Well, at least enough to keep my ears from burning. Seriously, has anyone else heard of this phrase or am I the only one? I digress… If you have any questions at all feel free to reach out to me personally at erin@canopi.me. From my co-founders and I to you… WE CAN’T WAIT to follow your blog under the Canopi!

6 Stylish Items Worth Completely Obsessing Over

I’ve been beyond excited to share with you my latest discoveries, but with The Bachelor finale, a new season of Rachel Zoe, and New Girl back in full swing. You can forgive a girl for being a little bit distracted. Right? Needless to say, I’ve gotten myself back on track and even consciously made the decision to avoid the premiere of Dancing With The Stars. Okay…. so I forgot to DVR it, but I did miss it which can only mean that I’m off to bigger and better non sparkly things. That is if you can consider my poor judgement in tv shows. As for my latest discoveries, some I literally stumbled upon, others landed in my inbox, and all were welcomed by that little inner voice otherwise known as a shopping addiction. At this point, it’s only appropriate that I share what’s been occupying my mind for some time now!

And the first obsession goes to… a coffee mug. This might not come as a surprise for those of you who know me. One thing that I will say, is if this isn’t a mug shot I don’t know what is. Well, actually I do, but it normally involves a celebrity with red hair and not a pretty little latte with a foam swirl. That being said, this mug is totally worth the $12 on Nomorerack. It’s simply picture perfect. I know. I know, but couldn’t help the pun.

I let out a loud squeal when I found out about this next collaboration. On June 30th, Target and Feed Projects are collaborating to FEED kids in America. Each item you buy lets you know how many meals will now be provided thanks to you. Looks like I have a date on June 30th.

Gone are the days of being made fun of for still wearing Keds. Anyone? Just me. Alright moving on…

To mark my territory in Detroit, it was only appropriate that I find the best mall to shop around. Turns out I found more than I had budgeted for thanks to Aritzia. Not only have I added this store to my mental list of favorite places, but they also carry a brand that I believe every girl has a right to know about. It’s called Wilfred. You don’t have to believe everything I say, in fact, it’s probably best you don’t. However, when I discuss t-shirts I mean business. Believe me when I say that these Wilfred t-shirts may be the softest, most comfortable, stylish shirts I’ve ever felt. If you’re looking for something that isn’t going to shrink after one wash and can be as comfy as your old tee you can’t seem to let go. I’d click on the photo below.

By now I shouldn’t have to preface this with the fact that I am a huge fan of TOMS. It should probably be expected. So when I found out they had released a new line of styles. I may have dropped a hint or two or three at my unsuspecting husband. But seriously, look at that shoe. It has a periodic table! What TOMS nerd couldn’t geek out over it! 

My Pinterest account has been off the charts lately thanks to this little guy below. I’ve gotten multiple requests asking where YOU could find this cover up. The J. Crew Cover Up  is unfortunately SOLD OUT due to popular demand. J. Crew did, however, leave a phone number to contact them with requests. I suggest letting them know this one is worth restocking!


Mr. Google Reader, RSS Feed Aggregator, Dies at Age 8

Mr. Google Reader, an RSS feed aggregator, confidant, and former innovator died on July 1, 2013 in Mountain View, California. He was 8 years old, or in dog years 56. In other sad news, he was on the same boat as Ms. Snapseed and Mr. Google Cloud Connect. His death was confirmed by a spokesperson from his former company. Mr. Reader was located in a little place called the internet.

Other survivors include the Pope, Bloggers, Developers, Google Search, Google Drive, and Google +. It was said that Mr. Reader’s friends received an update shockingly minutes after he was pronounced dead. One friend stated that the death of Mr. Reader made him re-examine his life, while others have already started looking for new ways to cope.

His friends hope that you’ll take the opportunity to pay your respects. Mr. Reader’s life was a good one, but unfortunately over the last year he had been slowly neglected. People had even gone as far as saying that he couldn’t quite function like he used to. However, Mr. Reader has moved on to better space just like his followers.

His family wanted to leave his followers with a quote passed down from his former employer. “Death is just life’s way of telling you that you’re fired.”

Visitation will start July 2nd.

Services are expected to follow at a much prettier place location at Canopi.

Because Real People Don’t Wear Sparkle Pants to Olive Garden

It all started with a quote: “Because real people don’t wear sparkle pants to Olive Garden.” After reading magazine after magazine while growing up, I discovered a love for fashion. More than that, I also discovered that much of what is reported on or shown as popular throughout the fashion industry is unrealistic. I mean have you seen the runways or looked at the latest photoshopped make up ad? As you probably already know, a night out to dinner at Olive Garden is much more realistic.


When I was reading through an article that recommended I wear sparkle pants for a night out, I couldn’t help but to envision the looks I would receive in the Midwest after leaving a sequins trail (because lets get real, they never stay on) & likely bread stick crumbs from your oh so typical chain restaurant. This is exactly why I began Reality Chic, to show a slightly more sarcastic yet stylish side of life for 20 somethings who wouldn’t and/or couldn’t be caught wearing sparkle pants. Little did I know, that I would be in for a ride…

Reality Chic was once a place that helped 20 somethings transition their style from college into the real world. In college, it’s all fun and beer pong until you graduate. You accept your well-deserved diploma in a weird cape of a dress that more or less represents Judge Judy and not the university, walk across the stage in black closed-toed heels and gladly accept the “B.S.” (bachelors of science, of course) that officially enters you into the real world. You’re excited, ambitious, and optimistic of what lies ahead . But let’s not forget you are a little uncertain about the lack of a job and your new “apartment” that is mistakenly identical to your parents house.

Though you have a new perspective on your so-called 20 something adult life you’re not quite sure where you or your style belongs in your twenties. Adult? Sophisticated? Young? Hot? Fiance? Trendy? Wife? Comfortable? Mom? Executive Assistant? Simple? Waitress? Nurse? Teacher? Edgy? Girlfriend? Student?

Whether you’re 22 or 29, it’s likely you and your liver recovered from the past 4 years of partying and eating late night Taco Bell (80% beef, really?). The question is… did your wardrobe?

Does it still resemble a somewhat broke, college/high school fanatic, skimpy clubbish, ultra comfy, homeless, formal version of yourself better known as a wardrobe hangover? With cheap $8 Forever 21 shirts, college and left over high school apparel, a Northface zip-up, giant Uggs, Victoria Secret sweatpants, and formal dresses, there isn’t many places a post grad should go let alone be seen in these type of clothes.

It’s probable that you feel like somewhat of an “in-betweener” when it comes to fashion. You’re afraid of looking matronly, but don’t want to dress like you’re a student either (even though you might technically still be one). You want to attempt to look young and stylish, but still look your age. And you also need a balanced wardrobe that can take you from the office to happy hour or shopping to dinner with friends.

No worries, I too am there!

Fast forward 3 1/2 years later and this once disheartened recent grad went from unemployed blogger (seriously depressing) to passionate president (seriously loving) of Canopi.me. This blog brought me back to reality, made me more fashionable than I ever could have imagined, and brought me more opportunities than I possibly could have dreamed of. And to that, I owe this blog, my readers, and the blogosphere itself something bigger than just a thanks and a few extra posts. I want to leave it a better place than when I started.

While it’s still important for me to help to 20 somethings transition to new style, I’m ready to share my journey on a slightly more personal and, of course, fashionable note. At the beginning of this journey, ‘reality chic’ was something that I aspired to. Now I’m finally able to give you a real look (naturally documented by iphotos) at the world where my blog has taken me. From fashion to my life in a startup to my mad addiction to coffee & hipsters (don’t judge), it’s time to show off a glimpse into how my reality (some way or another) actually became chic!

Reality Chic Changed Clothes… Or, In More Simple Terms, Got a New Design!

I know. I know… I’ve been seriously slacking when it comes to writing for the past couple weeks. I mean it’s not like we found out that Canopi.me (our startup) got into an accelerator program, put our house up for rent in Cincinnati, found an apartment in Detroit, rented our house in Cincinnati, moved to Detroit… all while attempting to remain sane or anything, right? So as you might have noticed, I’ve given myself a little bit of a break for being Sally Slacker or should I say Suzy Slacker or Shari Slacker or I should probably just stop.

Anyhow, while I’ve been slacking my husband has been trying to think of a cheap way to not have to buy me a Valentines Day present. Surprising? You haven’t met him. (only joking, darling) That being said, I had him do a little makeover or rather under for the new branding of Reality Chic. You could say that I have officially ‘changed clothes’ or you could just say we got a new design, but whatever.

I’ve been blessed to have been blogging for a little over 3 years now which is kind of crazy. In that 3 years I went from unemployed inexperienced newbie to Fashion Week to somehow or another running my own company. I personally feel I owe something back to the world of blogging (more to come on that tomorrow). As for Reality Chic, I will still be mainly focused on fashion especially for the girl who more or less finds herself in the aisle at Target not Tory Burch. Though, now that I’ve grown just like my readers I’d also like to start sharing even more aspects of my life that may or may not include life in a startup, coffee, and my little obsession with hipsters, but that’s neither here or there.

Now that I’ve changed clothes it’s time to start my day. Look out for another new post tomorrow!



The Big Bang Theory Featuring Michelle Obama!

Sure the inauguration is a time to celebrate our freedom and democracy amongst a peaceful transition of power that unites our country, even if only for one day. And sure, we care about the President being sworn in and his speech in front of millions, but let’s be honest, it’s all about the bangs, the coat, and the dress! So let’s discuss…

First, the big bang:

I hate to say it, but my big bang theory is that Michelle Obama completely copied my look. Isn’t it a bit obvious? In my book, she’s like 3 years too late. As they say though, better late than never. I’m happy to have been an inspiration. Let’s just call it my patriotic duty. You’re welcome, Mrs. Obama. You’re welcome.

Then, the coat:


Perfection. Simply perfection. From the Thom Brown coat to the J.Crew belt cinching her waist, Michelle Obama hit the nail on the head when it came to looking chic in freezing temps. Unfortunately, I did not have the same experience yesterday when I was crossing the street in New York City and happen to be standing next to a girl who was wearing the exact same brown coat as myself. Out of all of the coats, out of all of New York City, we followed each other for a solid 4 blocks unable to escape each other and the fact that we were both sporting a 3 year old Victoria Secret jacket. Faux pas, fo real! We may not all be able to afford Thom Brown but the girls wearing J.Crew left us with a little hope that at least is achievable with a credit card on J.Crew.com.

Lastly, the lady in red:

If isn’t broke, don’t fix it. That’s exactly what Michelle Obama did as she looked stunning and even somewhat understated as some may say. But to be honest, I can’t really blame her. Looks like the unknown designer, Jason Wu did it again. I can’t say I’m a huge fan of the halter cut but I have to say the back of the dress did Wu me!

What can we expect from the first lady in the next four years? Well, if we’ve learned anything from the past…


Top 5 Old Navy Buys – For Less!

In order to be real and to be chic, you got to know where to shop. And lately I’ve been all about Old Navy. I know what you’re thinking… Old Navy, right? But yet, they’re reasonably priced and lately it seems always adorable. It’s a great go-to option for a variety of occasions. You can even find a tip from Reality Chic on a way to shop at Old Navy (see tip 9.) I’ve picked out my top 5 favorite, necessities from their store for your everyday life as a fashionista.

What makes me buy something? The answer is simple, if I feel great in it, I want it to be mine. That’s why I think this super cute, tie front blouse would be perfect. It’s silky fabric and popping colors make me crave it already. Plus, everyone needs a good going out top or weekender top that they feel great in.

I am in love with stripes on just about anything; especially on cute day dresses like this one. I’m always looking for an easy dress to just throw on for the day and be set to go. For winter, I love to wear a striped dress with boots and leggings and a cute headband to tie things up.


You can never have to many staples in your wardrobe, and a cardigan is a must have. Old Navy is a great place to get a reasonable cardigan for all occasions. I like having my basic black and peach cardigans in my closet and then a few colored ones, like a red and purple.


Classic pair of ballet flats are always useful, but it’s also important to have a fun pair around to dress up any pair of jeans or leggings. These polka dot ones are just too cute to miss. Grey and white is a perfect color combination to go with a variety of looks. I would love wear these flats with some colored jeans, possibly in pink or red, to spice it up.

I’m always looking for an alternative to my regular, blue denim jeans. Colored jeans are the perfect route, if you’re like me. They are easy to wear and easy to coordinate different outfits with. All out your neutral tops and shoes should pretty easily go with a bright and fun pair of colored jeans. Old Navy has a huge range of colored jeans, making it an easy destination for your denim alternative. Bonus tip, for some reason the grey ones have extra spandex in them making them uber comfortable to wear!


Courtney Ott is a student at the University of Cincinnati in the college of Design, Art, Architecture and Planning (DAAP), majoring in fashion. She is a proud native of Cincinnati, and her hometown favorites include Skyline Chili, Graeter’s ice cream and the Cincinnati Reds. As a broke college student, Courtney has become an expert at finding the look for less. Follow her on Twitter @CourtneyWOtt

Pretty in Pink For Less!

What woman can’t resist the color pink?! I know some people find it to be a little too girly or immature, but I think it’s the perfect way to show off your feminine side.

For those pink lovers out there try this deep pink top or these light pink jeans. The peplum top is perfect for a winter night out with a sweater worn over top. I also love pink jeans because they are a great alternative to regular jeans and can add some spice to your look.

If you’re not so keen on pink yet, try wearing it in your accessories. Maybe go for these pink heels from Lulu’s. They are a great height and would look extremely cute with a black and white polka dotted dress for a so-called girly look. Also try this pink clutch from Nasty Gal or these crystal drop earrings from Bauble Bar.

Finally, this adorable dress from ModCloth is a great mix of pink and neutral. The Color blocking is perfection and this dress could so easily be worn to multiple occasions.

Pink Heels: $28; ModCloth Peplum Top: $35; Pink Jeans: Macy’s: $50.00; ModCloth Dress: $70.00; Clutch from Nasty Gal: $20.00; Earrings: Bauble Bar: $24



Courtney Ott is a student at the University of Cincinnati in the college of Design, Art, Architecture and Planning (DAAP), majoring in fashion. She is a proud native of Cincinnati, and her hometown favorites include Skyline Chili, Graeter’s ice cream and the Cincinnati Reds. As a broke college student, Courtney has become an expert at finding the look for less. Follow her on Twitter @CourtneyWOtt

Snow Gear Essentials for Less

The snow has finally come to Cincinnati… barely. And a day late of Christmas I might add. But I’ll take something over nothing, and I’m banking that there’s a lot more to come. And while I love looking at the snow from the comfort of my house wrapped in a bundle of blankets, I don’t enjoy venturing out into the cold as much.

It’s important to have the essential snow gear items handy when it comes time to pack on the layers and stay warm. Some of my essentials include a pair of warm gloves that still allow me to function and text. These gloves from Urban Outfitters look and feel warm, and still allow your fingers to function with your phone.


Also, too keep my ears warm; I love wearing a cozy headband style ear muffs. I like wearing these because they allow me to still do my hair and look composed and not hide my entire face under layers. Etsy has a great selection of warm headbands to choose from. This grey one is adorable and has a great knot detail, which adds the perfect amount of style.

Additionally, everyone needs a nice cozy scarf to wrap around him or her and help avoid the flu. I go for the heavier ones for extra warmth and I like the look of more layers for a scarf.  This cable knit scarf from The Gap does the trick. It comes in grey and black which are both great colors for matching with a multitude of outfits.

Finally, once you get out of the cold and back into the comfort of a heated room, be sure to throw on our favorite pair of slippers. I love this pair form Target because they will keep your feet nice and fuzy and warm but will still allow you to walk around the house without slipping and sliding everywhere.

Courtney Ott is a student at the University of Cincinnati in the college of Design, Art, Architecture and Planning (DAAP), majoring in fashion. She is a proud native of Cincinnati, and her hometown favorites include Skyline Chili, Graeter’s ice cream and the Cincinnati Reds. As a broke college student, Courtney has become an expert at finding the look for less. Follow her on Twitter @CourtneyWOtt